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How to Get Your Best Night's Sleep Yet

two sleeping masks, alarm clock, coffee beans, and paper sun

There's nothing better than crawling into your comfy bed after a long day. However, one in three Americans struggles to get adequate, quality sleep. Since sleep is as vital to your mental and physical health as a good diet and regular exercise, it's important to try to get a restful night's sleep every night. Read on for five tips that could send you on your way to dreamland.

Stick to a nightly routine.

Forming a healthy nighttime routine and sticking to it is necessary to create proper sleep habits. Start by setting aside enough time to get an acceptable night's sleep (most people need around seven to nine hours), and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and wind down with a soothing ritual.

Your nightly routine might include meditation, gentle self-care, and relaxation techniques.

It's okay to have an occasional late night, but remember to pick up where you left off the next day to keep your routine structured.

wooden bedframe with white sheets and wood nightstand

Create a healthy sleeping environment.

Sleeping in a cool, clean, and dark room can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Don’t let distractions, like outside noise, wreck your sleep. To ensure your sleep environment is optimal, consider these tips:

  • Turn on a fan. 
  • Sleep with earplugs or earbuds.
  • Try a white noise machine.
  • Invest in black-out curtains. 
  • Put on a sleeping mask. 

Additionally, your bed should only be used for sleep. Limit napping, relaxing, and working to other areas of your house. If possible, try not to spend too much time in your bedroom during the day, so your brain associates this safe haven only with sleep.

Prioritize exercise.

Exercising does so much good for your well-being, sending healthy vibes to your brain and body while you’re awake and asleep. Exercise can help clear your mind, which relieves stress and anxiety.

It also uses your stored energy so you feel tired earlier. Plus, you’re more likely to stay asleep if you've done a lot of physical activity during the day. 

If you can, exercise outside. The sun works to set your circadian rhythm, which is a natural process of the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.

Limit daytime naps.

While there are some benefits to napping, you might want to lay off the daytime snooze to promote healthy nighttime sleep. Avoid napping late in the day, and keep your naps to no more than an hour.

Long naps disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleeplessness and nighttime restlessness.

coffee mug with latte art on wood table

Monitor your caffeine intake.

That post-lunch cup of coffee might be the reason you feel tired enough to need to drink coffee. As a stimulant, caffeine is proven to lower your sleep quality—or make it impossible for you to sleep at all. Caffeine takes about six hours to leave the body, so count backward and plan your final cup of Joe around that.

It's also crucial to remember that snacks like chocolate contain caffeine, so it might be a good idea to substitute the nightly wine and chocolate for herbal tea and a small, protein-rich treat instead.

Yes, a nightly routine is key, but the best way to get well-rounded sleep is to incorporate an amazing morning routine, too! With a great night's sleep and a peaceful, slow morning, you'll be ready to conquer the day.

Is 5.5 hours of sleep enough?

The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, but generally, 5.5 hours of sleep is considered insufficient for most adults. Researchers conducted a study and found that every age group requires different hours of sleep. Here are the results:

  • 14-17 hours for newborns
  • 12-15 hours for infants
  • 11-14 hours for toddlers
  • 10-13 hours for preschoolers
  • 9-11 hours for school-aged children
  • 8-10 hours for teenagers
  • 7-9 hours for young adults and adults
  • 7-8 hours for older adults

While some individuals may function on less sleep, consistently getting less than the recommended amount can lead to sleep deprivation, which can negatively impact cognitive function, mood, immune system function, and overall health.

It's important to prioritize sleep and strive to get enough restful sleep each night to support optimal physical and mental functioning.

The Takeaway? Let Your Body Rest!

Prioritize rest and allow your body the rejuvenation it needs. You can sleep better by using our six tips and getting sufficient sleep. This will not only enhance your day-to-day activities, but you'll also experience a significant improvement in your daily tasks. Give yourself the gift of quality sleep and wake up ready to conquer each day with renewed energy and focus. Continue improving your mornings by adopting some new habits as well!